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Bonnie Tyler (born Gaynor Hopkins; 8 June 1951)[1] is a Welsh singer, known for her distinctive husky voice. Tyler came to prominence with the release of her 1977 album The World Starts Tonight and its singles "Lost in France" and "More Than a Lover". Her 1978 single "It's a Heartache" reached number four on the UK Singles Chart, and number three on the US Billboard Hot 100.

In the 1980s, Tyler ventured into rock music with songwriter and producer Jim Steinman. He wrote Tyler's biggest hit "Total Eclipse of the Heart", the lead single from her 1983 UK chart topping album Faster Than the Speed of Night. Steinman also wrote Tyler's other major 1980s hit "Holding Out for a Hero". She had success in mainland Europe during the 1990s with Dieter Bohlen, who wrote and produced her hit "Bitterblue". In 2003, Tyler re-recorded "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with singer Kareen Antonn. Their bilingual duet topped the French charts.

Rocks and Honey was released in 2013 and features the single "Believe in Me" which she performed representing the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö, Sweden. Her latest album Between the Earth and the Stars was released on 15 March 2019.

Both "It's a Heartache" and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" are among the best-selling singles of all time, with sales in excess of six million each. Her work has earned her three Grammy Award nominations and three Brit Award nominations, among other accolades.

Early life[]

Tyler was born Gaynor Hopkins in Skewen, Wales, to coal miner Glyndwr and housewife Elsie Hopkins.[2] She grew up in a four-bedroom council house with three sisters and two brothers.[2] Her siblings had varied music tastes, exposing her to artists such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles.[3] Hopkins and her family were deeply religious Protestants.[2] Her first public performance took place in a chapel as a child, singing the Anglican hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful".[4]

Leaving school with no formal qualifications, Hopkins began working in a grocery shop.[5] In 1969, she entered a local talent contest, and after coming in second place, was inspired to pursue a career in singing.[6] Responding to a newspaper advertisement, she found work as a backing singer for Bobby Wayne & the Dixies before forming her own soul band called Imagination.[7] It was around this time that she changed her name to Sherene Davis, to avoid being confused with Welsh folk singer Mary Hopkin.[8]


1975–1978: The World Starts Tonight and Natural Force[]

In 1975, Davis was spotted singing with her band in the Townsman Club, Swansea, by talent scout Roger Bell, who invited her to London to record a demo track.[9] After many months had passed, she received a phone call from RCA Records, offering her a recording contract.[10] They also recommended that she change her name again. After compiling a list of surnames and Christian names from a newspaper, Davis found a new name in "Bonnie Tyler".

Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe became her managers, songwriters and producers. "My! My! Honeycomb" was released as her debut single in April 1976, and failed to impact any charts worldwide. RCA increased their promotional efforts for the release of Tyler's second single, "Lost in France", arranging for her to meet with a party of journalists at a French château.[10] The single had no immediate impact upon its release in September 1976, but became a Top 10 single by the end of the year.[11] Tyler's next single "More Than a Lover" was favoured by some critics, and she performed the song on the BBC's Top of the Pops on 31 March 1977.[12] The song peaked at number 27 in the UK.[11]

Despite producing two popular singles, Tyler's debut album, The World Starts Tonight, proved unsuccessful in Europe, except in Sweden, where it climbed to number 2.[13]

"It's a Heartache" saw Tyler return to prominence again in 1978, reaching number 4 in the United Kingdom.[11] The song also became her first hit in the United States, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.[14]

Her second studio album Natural Force, released in the same year, was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) with sales of over half a million copies.[15] "Here Am I" was released as a third single in the spring of 1978, but the song failed to sustain her success in the United Kingdom and the United States, though it charted in other European countries.

1979–1981: Diamond Cut and Goodbye to the Island[]

Tyler's third studio album, Diamond Cut, was released in 1979. Most of the songs were again written and produced by Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe.

Diamond Cut was a hit in Norway and Sweden, but it only charted on the Billboard 200 at number 145. AllMusic declared the album to be the high point of Tyler's early career, "and a dynamite showcase for Tyler's inimitable voice".[16] Record Mirror rated the album three stars out of five, stating that "only a minority of the material [was] holding her back", and that the album is "essential listening" for Country music fans.[17]

Two singles were released from Diamond Cut; those were "My Guns Are Loaded" and "Too Good to Last". Tyler also released "(The World Is Full of) Married Men", which was used as the theme song for the film of the same name. Tyler appears in the film singing the song during the title sequence. It peaked at number thirty-five on the UK Singles Chart in July 1979.[18] Record Mirror criticised the song; its reviewer wrote: "Bonnie stops chewing gravel for a minute or two..." and continued with "she ends up sandpapering my eardrums again. Ouch."[17]

Tyler's first tour of Japan took place in 1979.[17] During her visit, she represented the United Kingdom in the World Popular Song Festival held in Tokyo. Tyler won the competition with the song "Sitting on the Edge of the Ocean", written by Scott and Wolfe. "I Believe in Your Sweet Love" was also released in 1979, and listed as a single of the week in 1979 by Record Mirror upon its release.[19]

Both singles featured on Tyler's final studio album with RCA. Goodbye to the Island was released in 1981, recorded in the Algarve, Portugal.[19] AllMusic rated the album three stars out of five,[20] with other critics predicting that Tyler was "doomed to be a one-hit wonder".[21] Phil Hendricks from Cherry Records said that Tyler "[proved] time and time again that she was one of those rare artists who was able to take the odd chart flop on the chin and bounce back having suffered little collateral damage."[17]

1982–1987: Faster Than the Speed of Night and Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire[]

After four albums with RCA, Tyler wanted a change in musical style. David Aspden succeeded Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe as her manager, and after seeing Meat Loaf performing on The Old Grey Whistle Test, she sought out Jim Steinman as her producer.

Steinman requested for Tyler to send some of her previous albums for him to listen to. Though he was not impressed by the music she had recorded, he saw potential in her voice. She was invited to his New York apartment three weeks later, where he presented her with "Total Eclipse of the Heart", a song which became a trans-Atlantic number 1 hit in 1983. It was pulled from the RIAA Platinum-certified Faster Than the Speed of Night. Bonnie received two Grammy Award nominations – for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance .

Faster Than the Speed of Night entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1, and was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) with sales of over 60,000 copies. In the United States, the album was certified Platinum, with over a million copies sold.

In 1984, Tyler recorded "Here She Comes" for the restoration version of the sci-fi film Metropolis. Despite not entering the Top 75 in the United Kingdom, Tyler was nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance at the 1985 Grammy Awards.[22]

Tyler continued to work with Jim Steinman for her sixth studio album, Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire. He worked as the executive producer, and penned four songs for it including its most successful single "Holding Out for a Hero". The song was originally released in 1984 as part of the soundtrack to Footloose.

The album was a chart success in Europe, but failed to significantly impact the American charts, only reaching number 106 on the Billboard 200 but it was a top 100 in Cash Box . Reviews were generally negative, with Steinman's production being described as "[over] indulgent."[23] Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire became Tyler's last album to chart in the United States, and contained her last charting U.S. single "If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)". In the United Kingdom, the album peaked at number 24.

Tyler also appeared as a special guest on magician David Copperfield's 1984 TV special, The Magic of David Copperfield VI: Floating Over the Grand Canyon, performing "Holding Out for a Hero" while Copperfield levitated over the Grand Canyon. The extended international version of the programme included a sequence in which Copperfield used a large circular saw to perform the Thin Model version of the Sawing a Woman in Half illusion on Tyler.

1988–1990: Hide Your Heart[]

Tyler released one more album with Columbia Records in 1988. It was released under the name Hide Your Heart in Europe, and Notes From America in the United States. Prolific songwriters for the album included Michael Bolton, Albert Hammond and Desmond Child, who also produced the album. The album enjoyed some success in continental Europe, but only peaked at No. 78 in the UK and failed to chart in the United States. The singles from Hide Your Heart were minor hits for Tyler, but went on to be major hits for other artists, including Kiss (with "Hide Your Heart"), Robin Beck, Cher and Freda Payne (with "Save Up All Your Tears") and Tina Turner with "The Best". When looking back over this era, Desmond Child said:

Bonnie Tyler is one of the greatest singers on Earth. Why? Because she comes to the studio prepared. I've never even seen her use a lyric sheet to sing. She comes with the song memorized, so when she stands there and sings, she closes her eyes. She's in a sacred space and you feel that. You can say a lot of things about Bonnie Tyler, but you cannot say she does not feel her music.[24]

As part of the UK Hide Your Heart Tour in 1988, Tyler performed at the Reading Festival among acts such as Meat Loaf and Starship. Both Tyler and Meat Loaf were subject to audience abuse, as bottles were hurled at them during their acts.[25] Meat Loaf cut his performance short after suffering an injury, though Tyler managed to complete her set and encouraged the audience to sing along to "It's a Heartache".[26]

Also in 1988, Tyler played the voice of Polly Garter in George Martin's production of Under Milk Wood, a radio drama by Dylan Thomas.

In 1990, Tyler recorded "Into the Sunset" for the soundtrack to the animated television series The Dreamstone. The song was intended to be a duet with Roger Daltrey, though due to scheduling conflicts the male vocals were instead recorded by Mike Batt.

1991–1994: Success in Europe[]

German producer and songwriter Dieter Bohlen contacted Tyler in 1991, proposing a collaboration. Initially reluctant, Bohlen convinced her, arguing that "[she will] just have to be a bit more commercial".[27] Tyler signed a recording contract with Hansa Records, releasing her eighth album Bitterblue on 11 November 1991.[28]

AllMusic described the album as "a pleasant collection of pop songs". They also stated that the album started a "much more mainstream and less bombastic" direction in Tyler's career.[28] But Billboard criticised the album, stating that the "bombastic production, with a rush of bagpipes and a choir of chirping children at the forefront, overpower Tyler's distinctive raspy voice."[29]

Working on the record alongside Bohlen were songwriters and producers such as Giorgio Moroder, Albert Hammond and Nik Kershaw. The album's lead single, "Bitterblue", was a success in continental Europe, receiving an award for "Catchy Song of the Year" from RSH-GOLD in Germany.[30] The album was certified 4× Platinum in Norway for sales of over 200,000.[31] It sold a further 250,000 copies in Germany.[32][33] Combining all the album's certifications, Bitterblue has sold over a million copies since its release,[34][35][36] but hasn't been released in her native UK.


Tyler at her home in Wales, 1993.

Angel Heart was released as the follow-up album to Bitterblue in October 1992. Bohlen wrote eleven of the fourteen songs on the album. The remaining three were written by Jerry Lynn Williams, Frankie Miller, Craig Joiner, Robert John "Mutt" Lange and Anthony Mitman. The album reunited Frankie Miller for their second duet, "Save Your Love". Released less than a year since the previous album, Angel Heart saw similar success, with certifications by IFPI Norway (Platinum),[31] IFPI Austria (Gold),[34] IFPI Switzerland (Gold) and the BMVI (Gold).[32][36] Echoing "Bitterblue", the album's lead single "Fools Lullaby" was a European success, charting highest in Norway at No. 6.[37] Tyler's success with Angel Heart led to her several awards and nominations, including a Bravo Otto award in Germany, and an Echo Award for best pop/rock singer of 1993.[38]

In January 1993, Tyler's old record company Columbia Records released The Very Best of Bonnie Tyler. Tyler believed that the compilation was released to compete with her newly recorded work.[39] Allmusic described it as "a great collection". The Very Best of Bonnie Tyler was certified Platinum by the BMVI.[32]

The third and final album under Hansa, Silhouette in Red, was released in October 1993. Success with this album was less widespread in Europe, though it was still certified Platinum in Norway.[31] The songwriting team was as condensed as on Angel Heart, as Bohlen wrote twelve of the fifteen songs. The final track, "You Won't See Me Cry", was co-written by Lee Morris and Tyler's own brother Paul Hopkins. She also recorded the Joe Cocker song "You Are So Beautiful". In Angel Heart and Silhouette in Red, Bohlen cited his songwriting credits under the pseudonyms of Steve Benson, Jennifer Blake and Howard Houston. AllMusic opined that Tyler's influences (Janis Joplin and Tina Turner) "often shine through on this hard to find album."[40] The album was followed up with the Silhouette in Red Tour in Europe. Tyler received the Goldene Europa Award and won Best International Female Vocalist at the Echo Awards in 1994.[38]

In October 1994, Tyler released a final compilation album with Hansa entitled Comeback: Single Collection '90–'94, featuring the single "Back Home". Neither the compilation nor the single saw any chart success. AllMusic gave the compilation a star rating of two out of five.[41] Tyler's contract with Hansa Records expired at the end of the year.

1995–1999: Free Spirit and All in One Voice[]

File:Bonnie Tyler on stage in Moscow, 9 May 1999.jpg

Tyler performing on stage in Moscow, Russia, 9 May 1999.

Dieter Bohlen took Tyler's exit from Hansa Records "very personally", describing her next album as "one of the most expensive flops in the history of EastWest Records".[42] It was with EastWest that she recorded Free Spirit, a critically acclaimed album which became her first U.S. release since Hide Your Heart in 1988.[43] Prolific producers such as David Foster and Humberto Gatica were involved in the production of this record, as well as Jim Steinman. Their reunion saw the release of "Making Love Out of Nothing at All", of which her version narrowly missed the UK Top 40 in January 1996. Bonnie Tyler covered another Jim Steinman song “Two out Of Three Ain’t Bad”[44] The single featured Tyler's mother's operatic vocals on the intro to the song.[45]

Free Spirit was released in 1995, in Europe by EastWest and in the U.S. by Atlantic Records. The album was re-released in 1996, with the addition of the song "Limelight", which was used as the official song of the German Olympic Team.[46] AllMusic stated that "several songs on this album rate about average, but there are several shining moments which should have brought this set, from such an engaging singer, much more attention than the minimal it received."[43]

Returning to Germany in 1997, Tyler recorded "He's the King" for the German film Der König von St. Pauli. Tyler appeared in the film performing the song in a casino. The single was released in December 1997, reaching number ninety-five in Germany. Success proved to halt at this point, with the album All in One Voice and its second single "Heaven" failing to chart worldwide.

Also in 1998, Tyler recorded "Tyre Tracks and Broken Hearts" for the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman concept album Whistle Down the Wind, a musical which premiered in 1996. In the following year, Tyler recorded "Is Anybody There?" for Rick Wakeman's Return to the Centre of the Earth album, a sequel to Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1974).

2000–2003: Greatest Hits and Heart Strings[]

On 14 September 2001, Tyler released Greatest Hits, a compilation album containing seventeen tracks. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 18, and was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for sales of over 60,000 units. Greatest Hits reached the Top 10 in a further five European countries.

File:Bonnie Tyler at Soria, Spain, July 2006.jpg

Bonnie Tyler with Matt Prior performing in Soria, Spain (20 July 2006).

In 2002, Tyler began working on her thirteenth studio album, Heart Strings. EMI approached her with the idea of recording a cover album with an orchestra and Tyler's band.[39] She selected thirteen songs by artists such as U2, The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen. The songs were arranged by composers Nick Ingman and Karl Jenkins, and performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Heart Strings was released on 18 March 2003, and was followed by a tour in Germany. The album charted in Europe, reaching the Top 50 in five countries.

Also in 2003, French vocalist Kareen Antonn sent Tyler a demo recording of Antonn singing a French arrangement of "Total Eclipse of the Heart", entitled "Si demain...", requesting to duet with her. Tyler accepted, and the track was released in December 2003. It went to number 1 in France, holding the top position for ten weeks, as well as Belgium and Poland, selling over 500,000 copies in France.[47][48] The success of the single was considered to be Tyler's comeback in France, and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from music critics.[49][50]

2004–2005: Simply Believe and Wings[]

Tyler's fourteenth studio album Simply Believe was released in April 2004. It featured seven new songs; the rest of the tracks were re-recordings and covers. "It's a Heartache" appeared as a new duet with Kareen Antonn. It was released as a single and peaked at number 12 in France.[47] Tyler co-wrote the title track of the album, and two additional songs, with producer Jean Lahcene. Simply Believe spent 23 weeks on the French Album Charts and peaked at number 18.


Bonnie Tyler with Matt Prior in an acoustic concert in "Familiengarten Eberswalde" (27 May 2006).

Tyler released her fifteenth studio album Wings in the spring of 2005. It was recorded in Paris, and featured twelve new songs, two of which were also recorded in French, and new versions of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "It's a Heartache".[51] Tyler promoted the album with an extensive tour of Europe, including a televised performance at the Sopot International Song Festival in Poland, and recorded concerts at La Cigale in Paris and at the Fiestas del Pilar in Zaragoza, Spain. Footage from all three concerts appeared on Tyler's live DVD Bonnie on Tour which was released in 2006. Wings was issued in the UK in 2006 under the title Celebrate. Tyler also received the Lifetime Achievement Steiger Award in 2005.[52]

2006–2011: From the Heart: Greatest Hits and Best of 3 CD[]

In 2006, Tyler made her first appearance on US television in years when she performed "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with actress Lucy Lawless on Celebrity Duets.[53] In the following year she recorded a new version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with punk band BabyPinkStar and released From the Heart: Greatest Hits, which reached number two in Ireland and number 31 in the UK.[54][55][44]

File:Bonnie Tyler sound check in Poland, May 2011.png

Bonnie Tyler at the sound check for her concert in Dolina Charlotty, Poland, 1 May 2011.

In April 2009, Tyler joined Welsh male voice choir Only Men Aloud! on their UK tour to perform "Total Eclipse of the Heart". They recorded the song for their second studio album Band of Brothers, which was released in October.[56] In the same year, she also recorded the title song for Mal Pope's new musical Cappuccino Girls, and performed the song at the opening night in Swansea's Grand Theatre.[57] Tyler also made a cameo on Hollyoaks Later to sing "Holding Out for a Hero" in a dream sequence with Carmel McQueen (Gemma Merna).[56]

In 2010, Tyler appeared in a television advertisement for MasterCard singing a parody of "Total Eclipse of the Heart".[58] She released "Something Going On" with Country singer Wayne Warner and a new version of "Making Love (Out of Nothing At All)" with Matt Pétrin in July and August respectively. In October, she toured with Robin Gibb in Australia and New Zealand.[59]


In 2011, Tyler appeared on Swedish TV show Kvällen är din ("The Evening Is Yours" in English), singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with Swedish singer Niklas Paulström. Tyler also performed "It's a Heartache".[60] She also made a guest appearance in the music video "Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind)", a parody of the Jay-Z and Alicia Keys song "Empire State of Mind" for the BBC's Comic Relief charity. Also in 2011, Tyler won an award at the BMI London Awards for "It's a Heartache" gaining over 3 million airplays on US television and radio since it was first recorded in 1977.[61] She also appeared on the Ukrainian version of X Factor as one of the three British guests, alongside Kylie Minogue and Cher Lloyd. She performed "It's a Heartache", "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Holding Out for a Hero". In December 2011, a portrait of Tyler by Rolf Harris, owned by Cathy Sims, was appraised for £50,000 on BBC's Antiques Roadshow.[62]

In September 2011, Tyler released a new compilation titled Best of 3 CD, which charted at number 36 in France.[63] The album featured a cover of "Eternal Flame" by The Bangles, which was recorded as a duet with Laura Zen in French and English and released as a single.[64]

2012–2014: Rocks and Honey and the Eurovision Song Contest[]

In early 2012, Tyler began working on her sixteenth album, Rocks and Honey. She travelled to Nashville, Tennessee in search of material for the album. It was recorded at the Blackbird Studios in Nashville, and produced by David Huff. Tyler sent the album to the BBC ahead of its release for feedback. After hearing the third track "Believe in Me", they asked Tyler to represent the United Kingdom with the song at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.[65] Although she was initially reluctant, Tyler accepted, describing Eurovision as "great publicity for my album".[66]

Tyler was announced as the United Kingdom's entrant on 7 March 2013, and was met with a mixed reaction.[67][68][69] "Believe in Me" was released on 13 March, and peaked at number 93 in the United Kingdom.[70] As a member of the "Big Five", the United Kingdom automatically qualified to the Eurovision Grand Final on 18 May.[71] Tyler finished in 19th place with 23 points. Reacting to the results, Tyler stated, "I did the best that I could do with a great song", adding, "I'm so glad and so happy that I did it because it was an incredible experience. It was like the Grammy awards all over again."[72]

Following the Eurovision Song Contest, Tyler became the first representative for the United Kingdom to receive a Eurovision Song Contest Radio Award. She received the accolades for Best Song and Best Female Singer.[73]

Rocks and Honey was released on 6 May 2013 in the United Kingdom, and peaked at number 52 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was titled in reference to the contrast between Tyler and Vince Gill's voice on their duet "What You Need from Me", which was likened to "rocks and honey". "This Is Gonna Hurt" and "Love Is the Knife" were released as the second and third singles in August and September 2013 respectively, though both songs failed to chart.

In 2014, Tyler released "Miserere" on Rhydian Roberts's album One Day like This,[74] and "Fortune" on Spike's album 100% Pure Frankie Miller.[75]

2015–2019: Between the Earth and the Stars[]

In June 2015, Tyler appeared on Die schönsten Disney Songs aller Zeiten, a one-off televised celebration of popular Disney songs in Germany. She performed "Circle of Life" from The Lion King.[76] In September 2015, Tyler performed "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Holding Out for a Hero" on Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, Nicole Scherzinger and Alec Baldwin.[77]

In 2016, Tyler featured on Frankie Miller's album Double Take. In March 2017, Tyler released a new single titled "Love's Holding On" with German metal band Axel Rudi Pell.[78]

In August 2017, Tyler performed "Total Eclipse of the Heart" aboard the MS Oasis of the Seas with American dance-rock band DNCE to mark the solar eclipse of 21 August 2017.[79] The song received an increase of 31,000 online downloads, which led to a placement of number 13 on the Billboard Digital Songs chart.[80] In November, she released a new compilation titled Remixes and Rarities. The album debuted numerous tracks from her back catalogue that had not previously been released on CD.[81]

In March 2018, Tyler embarked on a 22-date tour of Germany and Austria to celebrate the 40th anniversary of "It's a Heartache", with Sharron Levy as support.[82]

Tyler's seventeenth studio album Between the Earth and the Stars, produced by David Mackay, was released by earMUSIC in March 2019.[83][84] Tyler will embark on the Between the Earth and the Stars Live tour in April 2019.[85]



Born into a musical family, Tyler grew up listening to a wide range of musical genres.[86] One of Tyler's earliest musical memories was listening to her mother singing opera music in the family home. Tyler attended church until she was sixteen years old. Her first ever performance was singing "All Things Bright and Beautiful" in church.[87] She was also exposed to the music of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles and other 60s bands due to her siblings's musical tastes.[86] Frankie Miller was the first live act that Tyler saw, and she later recorded duets with him.[88]

Tyler's two biggest influences from a young age were Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. She cites "River Deep – Mountain High" as being her all-time favourite song.[86] Other artists that influenced Tyler in her youth include Aretha Franklin,[86] Wilson Pickett,[39] Meat Loaf,[86] Joe Cocker,[86] Dusty Springfield[86] and Tommy Steele.[86] She has also expressed admiration for contemporary artists such as Guns N' Roses,[86][89] Anastacia, Toni Braxton, Duffy,[39][90] and Eminem. She has also expressed interest in collaborating with Adele, whom she describes as "a great song writer, singer and performer."[91]

Vocal style[]

Tyler's music contains elements of country, rock, pop, blues and Celtic. Her voice has been likened to Rod Stewart and Kim Carnes as a result of her vocal nodules operation in the 1970s,[43] sometimes even being referenced as "the female Rod Stewart",[92] and, after her collaborations with Jim Steinman, "the female Meat Loaf".[93] Soon after her operation, when recording her second album, Natural Force, the studio band complimented Tyler's changed voice.[94] Reviewers from AllMusic have described Tyler's voice as "inimitable",[51] "wonderfully gritty",[95] and an "effective instrument" for drawing notice to her first managers, Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe.[96]

In a review of Rocks and Honey, OMH Media described Tyler's vocals as being "good for only one thing and that's belting out gravelly vocals", suggesting that she sounds like Johnny Cash in his later years when she "tries to restrain [her voice]".[97] With reference to her modern voice, The Yorkshire Times wrote that Tyler's vocals have "still got what it takes to make you tingle."[98] Jim Steinman told People magazine that he wrote "Total Eclipse of the Heart" as a "showpiece for [Tyler's] voice".[99] AllMusic said that Tyler's voice "produced the perfect type of 'desperate lovelorn' effect to suit the romantic lyrics".[100]


Though songwriting has never been a significant part of Tyler's career, she has co-written a handful of B-Sides and other tracks. "Gonna Get Better", a B-Side to the 1980 Japanese single "Sayonara Tokyo", was written with her brother, Paul Hopkins.[101]

In 2001, Tyler co-wrote four songs with Gary Pickford-Hopkins on his GPH album, and duetted with him on the track "Loving You Means Leaving You".[102] Tyler was also involved in writing several tracks for her 2005 album Wings, including its singles "Louise" and "Celebrate".[103]


Tyler has participated in a number of charity recordings. In 1986, she sang on The Anti-Heroin Project's single "It's a Live-In World". In 1987, she contributed vocals to the closing chorus of the UK No.1 single "Let It Be" for the Ferry Aid ensemble. In 1990, she recorded a solo in "Sailing", which was released with the group Rock Against Repatriation. She also featured on a 2007 charity album called Over the Rainbow. The event was filmed and shown on the British TV series Challenge Anneka, in which presenter Anneka Rice was set the challenge of putting together a thirteen-track compilation album made up of songs from musicals in five days and organise a promotional concert for the release of the CD. The proceeds went to the Chase Trust disabled children's charity. Tyler selected "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from one of her favourite musicals, Jesus Christ Superstar.[104] In 2013, she re-recorded "Holding Out for a Hero" for the 2013 Children in Need appeal.[105]

On 1 November 2009, Tyler joined artists including Escala, Joss Stone and Bananarama in a charity concert in support of breast cancer research. It was held at the Royal Albert Hall as a fundraiser for Pinktober.[106] The following year, Tyler headlined in a New Zealand charity variety show alongside Leo Sayer.[107][108]

In November 2012, Tyler donated a diamante-studded denim jacket to help raise funds for the at-the-time missing five-year-old April Jones.[109] For the 2013 BBC Children in Need charity appeal, Tyler re-recorded "Holding Out for a Hero" for two promotional clips, with the motto 'Be a Hero' to encourage the public in the charity's fundraising campaign.[110]

Local charity[]

In Portugal, Tyler was named as the patron of the Guia-based AAG (Animal Charity Association), which helps injured, hungry and distressed street animals through the likes of feeding programmes and veterinary care.[111] In 2014, she endorsed the BUAV's campaign to make it mandatory for animals in testing laboratories to be re-homed.[112]

In Wales, Tyler became a supporter and ambassador of Bobath Children's Therapy Centre in the 1990s.[113] On 11 June 2013, she nominated the charity for the Pride of Britain Awards.[109] She supported Swansea Bay being named the "City of Culture 2017" in November 2013.[114][115] As the patron of The Noah's Ark Appeal (raising money for the Noah's Ark Children's Hospital for Wales), Tyler attended the Coral Welsh Grand National in Chepstow, Wales on 28 December 2013.[116] Tyler performed at a tribute event marking a year since the passing of singer Gary Pickford-Hopkins. The event was held in Swansea on 19 June 2014, where Tyler performed alongside her brother Paul Hopkins.[117]

Personal life[]

Tyler married property developer and 1972 Olympic judo contestant Robert Sullivan on 14 July 1973, a month after her 22nd birthday. They have no children; Tyler miscarried when she was aged 39.[118]

Since 1988, Tyler and her husband have owned a five-bedroom home in Albufeira in the Algarve.[119] Tyler had recorded one of her albums there in the late 1970s, and the couple spend much of the year there.[120] In 2005, Tyler was filmed in the Algarve for the Polish entertainment TV show Zacisze gwiazd, which explores the houses of actors and musicians.[121]

Tyler and Sullivan have invested in real estate. As of a 1999 interview, they owned farmland in Portugal and New Zealand, 22 houses in Berkshire and London, and 65 stables offering horse boarding services.[122][123] In a 2013 interview, Tyler stated that the farm in New Zealand had been converted to a dairy farm twelve years after they purchased the land. In the same interview she also stated that she and Sullivan also own a quarry.[124]


Studio albums[]

  • The World Starts Tonight (1977)
  • Natural Force (1978)
  • Diamond Cut (1979)
  • Goodbye to the Island (1981)
  • Faster Than the Speed of Night (1983)
  • Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire (1986)
  • Hide Your Heart (1988) also known as Notes From America (1988)
  • Bitterblue (1991)
  • Angel Heart (1992)
  • Silhouette in Red (1993)
  • Free Spirit (1995)
  • All in One Voice (1998)
  • Heart Strings (2003) also known as Heart & Soul (2002)
  • Simply Believe (2004)
  • Wings (2005) also known as Celebrate (2006)
  • Rocks and Honey (2013)
  • Between the Earth and the Stars (2019)

Awards and recognition[]

"Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "It's a Heartache" have estimated sales of over 6 million units each, and are among the best-selling singles of all time.[125][126]

Tyler's 1976 breakthrough with "Lost in France" led to her nomination for Best British Female Newcomer at the 1977 Brit Awards. In the 1980s, she received nominations for two more Brit Awards,[127] and three Grammy Awards. In 2013, she was presented with the Gold Badge award by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA).[128]

In 1979, Tyler won the 10th World Popular Song Festival with "Sitting on the Edge of the Ocean", representing the United Kingdom. Tyler also became the first and only representative of the United Kingdom to receive a Eurovision Song Contest Radio award in 2013.[129] She was also one of the first western artists to tour the Soviet Union.[130]

In addition to her music awards, Tyler has received local honours in Wales; including being named freeman of Neath Port Talbot in 2011, and an honorary degree and doctorate from Swansea University in 2013.[131] She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.[132] In 2016, she was honoured by the Lord Mayor of Swansea for Services to Music.[133]


  • She has a younger sister, Amanda, who had a minor hit in 1988 with the song "Lies", released under her married name of Amanda Scott.
  • She didn't get her ears pierced until she was 27, when she had them done in early 1979.


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